The Arabic scholarship of Ignazio Lomellini is largely unknown, even to Arabists and historians studying the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In 1622 this Italian priest produced a translation of the Qur’an with accompanying commentary that has remained unstudied in a Genoan library for almost two centuries. This lecture will introduce this fascinating document, placing Lomellini’s work within the context of Counter-Reformation Christian Europe and within the book culture of the Jesuits of which Lomellini was a part. We shall also see how Lomellini grappled with linguistic problems in the text and what his successes—and failures—tell us about the act of translation.
A Baroque Jesuit’s Encounter with the Qur’an: The Translation and Commentary of Ignazio Lomellini (1622)
Paul Shore has held teaching and research posts at Saint Louis University, Harvard Divinity School, Oxford University, the University of Wrocław, the University of Edinburgh, and Trinity College Dublin, and in 2013 was the Alan Richardson Fellow in Theology and Religion at Durham University. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Adjunct Professor of History at Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.